Anyone who has a teen knows the difficulty of trying to keep them happy while also keeping them out of trouble. Luckily, as most pool-owning parents have realized by now, pools can be a secret weapon when it comes to entertaining teenagers.
Pools are known to be built-in entertainment for young children, but thankfully the novelty doesn’t seem to wear off when it comes to teenagers. Even if your own son or daughter is too cool to admit it most of their friends will for them. Being the “pool house” can be a great way to keep kids out of trouble in in your own backyard as it tends to be the popular hang out spot.
The best thing about planning a pool party for tweens or teens is they don’t usually need much other than the pool themeselves.
Tweens looking for some independence might not like overt parental supervision, so a table almost but not quite out of sight might be a good idea, where a couple parents sit and chat with each other, seemingly minding their own business. If the pool doesn’t have a deep end the safety issue is far less, since the guests can reach the bottom, so it falls more to the parents’ judgement how much supervision might be needed.
Party Food and Entertainment
When graduating from a children’s party to an older age group, a couple changes to the food are needed. Pop instead of juice, chips instead of goldfish crackers, stick with brats or pizza, and you’re all set. Most teenagers don’t expect – or want – fancy foods, so don’t worry to much about it. Of course, if you have that kid who loves sushi and wants a “classy” party, adjust as needed.
Teens can be finicky about organized events, so go by your child’s lead. Give your son or daughter a few ideas and the tools for a game if they want to suggest it themselves. Popular choices are volleyball or basketball. These both work best on sport pools with a shallow end on each side. For deep-end pools, teams might have to switch sides half way through to account for the disadvantage.
Preparing the Pool
Since you are planning ahead for everything else, don’t forget the pool itself.
- Test the water the few days prior to make sure pH and chlorine levels are good.
- Make sure the filters are clean or the sand or DE filter has been backwashed if needed.
- Don’t just look at the water, feel the sides of the pool to see if they are slippery. If they are slippery algae is starting to grow, even if the pool looks beautiful. It could turn on you overnight.
- Have some Smart Shock or Oxysheen on hand so if you need to do a last-minute shock you can do so and still swim in 20 minutes. Do this even if you have a salt generator, as those work best at maintaining chlorine levels, but will have a more difficult time if you are in “emergency recovery” mode. Boosting the generator will not work quickly enough if you have people coming over in an hour.